Spintronics relies on magnetization switching through current-induced spin torques. However, because spin transfer torque for ferromagnets is a surface torque, a large switching current is required for a thick, thermally stable ferromagnetic cell, and this remains a fundamental obstacle for high-density non-volatile applications with ferromagnets. Here, we report a long spin coherence length and associated bulk-like torque characteristics in an antiferromagnetically coupled ferrimagnetic multilayer. We find that a transverse spin current can pass through >10-nm-thick ferrimagnetic Co/Tb multilayers, whereas it is entirely absorbed by a 1-nm-thick ferromagnetic Co/Ni multilayer. We also find that the switching efficiency of Co/Tb multilayers partially reflects a bulk-like torque characteristic, as it increases with ferrimagnet thickness up to 8 nm and then decreases, in clear contrast to the 1/thickness dependence of ferromagnetic Co/Ni multilayers. Our results on antiferromagnetically coupled systems will invigorate research towards the development of energy-efficient spintronics.
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The data supporting the findings of this study are available within the paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
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The authors acknowledge discussions with P.M. Haney. This research was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF), Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore, under its Competitive Research Programme (CRP award no. NRFCRP12-2013-01). K.-J.L. was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015M3D1A1070465 and NRF-2017R1A2B2006119) and the KIST Institutional Program (project no. 2V05750) and Samsung Research Funding Center of Samsung Electronics under project no. SRFCMA1702-02.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Yu, J., Bang, D., Mishra, R. et al. Long spin coherence length and bulk-like spin–orbit torque in ferrimagnetic multilayers. Nature Mater 18, 29–34 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-018-0236-9
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